I think anyone who knows of T.J. -- the Junior Junkie -- knows that he and his wife recently had a child.
To celebrate and in recognition of the fact that time will not be easy to find over the next few months, T.J. sent out a bunch of packages around the blogosphere -- including one to me. Now, I'm a little disappointed that I did not receive one of his badass personal blogger cards on the 1987 Topps design. You know, this one:
For a while in the 1980s, I thought about trying to collect the entire 1987 Topps set in autographed form -- mainly because I like the woodgrain a lot. I know many disagree, but tough luck -- it's what I liked.
You know, like this O-Pee-Chee version of Robin Yount that T.J. sent my way.
I have since thought better of that, mainly because there are way too many cards to try to get signed. So, I would have loved to have gotten one of these. Maybe next time.
Still, it was pretty awesome to get one of those packages from T.J. So, let me help him out a little bit with some ideas for making his child a true Griffey fan.
1. Nike Air Griffey Max 1 Preschool Shoes from Kids Foot Locker
Sweet looking kicks that keep your child looking stylish and, at the same time, giving props to the first Seattle Mariner in the Hall of Fame.
To go with those badass Nikes, let's go with some Bowman Chrome parallels. We have a Green Axford, a Blue Khrush Davis, and a straight refractor of Johnny Hellweg. None of these guys are with the Brewers any more, as Axford and Davis both are now members of the Oakland Athletics and Hellweg -- who came to Milwaukee as part of the Greinke trade to the Angels -- was released last fall and signed with the Padres.
2. The Requisite Seattle Mariners Onesie
Every baby needs onesies. They are low maintenance, generally, and they are much easier for parents than regular clothes when it comes to changing diapers and getting the little one dressed. Now, I don't have any children, but I was 11 years old when my younger brother was born. So, I have changed my share of diapers and helped little ones get dressed -- and onesies are so much easier than anything else around for the "up to age 2" crowd.
I view these cards as a collecting equivalent of the onesie. They look good in the card sheets, though they don't blow anyone away as being the height of fashion. But a Brewers collector has to have them, just as any parent really has to have the onesie for their kids.
3. Griffey Money?
No, really. A "Junior" dollar that you can buy on Amazon from "Kev's Toys" in Florida for the low price of $11.99 plus $4.49 shipping. I mean, sure, your overall transaction has you paying $16.48 for $1 of value, but you can use the Griffey money to teach kids how to save money.
"See, son, this is what we call 'a money grab'."
Topps is guilty of engaging in conduct that can charitably be called a money grab. Whether it is endless parallels in every dadgum product that gets put out these days -- like these two Gypsy Queen parallels of Yovani Gallardo from last year -- or their affixing foil stamps to old cards, all of this really does feel like a money grab.
But, yes, I need them and yes, I'll take them and yes, actually, I appreciate these greatly -- especially the silver mini parallel numbered to 199!
4. Moby MLB Edition Wrap Baby Carrier
T.J. will be missing a great opportunity to have his wife represent the Mariners if he doesn't buy this awesome Seattle Mariners teal baby carrier from Bed Bath & Beyond. Only $50!
Every one of these cards is sort of like that baby carrier to me. You won't know you need them till someone points them out to you. Granted, I feel like that baby carrier might be a bit overpriced at $50, so that's why the Prince Fielder Topps Tribute card shows up here -- I have yet to feel like the high-end sets are anything but overpriced hype.
Sure, some like Tribute, Triple Threads, and Museum Collection -- the ones with base cards included -- tend to be pretty nice cards generally. But, in those products, the base cards always seem like letdowns or afterthoughts to someone trying to buy cards for "value" rather than for "collecting."
5. Salvino's Baby Bammers Griffey Bear
Another item available from Amazon, but this one is available for just $10.95 with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime! It even comes with an Edgar Martinez bear!
Now, this is something for the real hardcore Mariners fan. It's from 17 years ago, and even then it was really only a knockoff of the real Beanie Babies. I'm not even sure what a Baby Bammer is. I always thought that that term would describe this:
Anyway, the best card to put with this hardcore item for a Mariners fan is to have an item only a hardcore Brewer fan could really appreciate.
An autographed 1974 Topps card of Brewers all-time wins leader, Jim Slaton. As I have mentioned in the past, the Brewers' history with pitchers is not exactly a good one. Slaton has the most wins in franchise history with 117, and he is the only pitcher in club history to throw more than 2000 innings in a Brewers' uniform with 2025-1/3 innings.
If Slaton had pitched only for Milwaukee, that total would be good enough to put him 427th all-time in innings pitched, 1/3 of an inning behind Johan Santana and Vern Kennedy. Slaton pitched another 658-1/3 innings with other teams, so he's actually 197th all time. That should tell you that the Brewers either don't keep pitchers around generally, or they don't keep the ones they do keep around healthy (see Ted Higuera, for example, or Ben Sheets).
Still, to add a clearly authentic autograph of a guy who is a player collection for me is just awesome.
Thanks, T.J., for the cards and congratulations again on the addition to your family!